KARACHI: Despite uncertainty surrounding the political situation of Pakistan, the sports community of the country celebrated its 68th Independence Day with fervour, participating in different events in Karachi, Fata and Balochistan.
Although a major Pakistan Hockey Federation event was postponed till August 17 due to the law-and-order situation in Lahore and the Pakistan Sports Board cancelled their programmes in Islamabad, the rest of the country strived to make up for the loss.
The All-Balochistan Rowing Association held Independence Day competitions at Hanna Lake in Quetta, where 65 male and female athletes competed in seven events. Pakistan Customs’ Muhammad Abu Bakr Durrani won the title for the best rower in the competition with two gold medals.
Meanwhile, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) and Fata Olympic Associations also held Internally-Displaced Persons (IDP) Games in Bannu and Landi Kotal, attracting over 2,000 athletes for football, volleyball, hockey, athletics, basketball, bodybuilding, martial arts and shooting.
“It’s been a great display of strength and spirit at the IDP Games,” Fata Olympic Association official Shahid Shinwari told The Express Tribune. “As many as 17,000 spectators came to watch the event and the athletes were happy to compete in the Independence Day activities and show the world that we are peaceful.”
Meanwhile, Mohsin Khan emerged as the winner of the K-P Cycling Association road race. Khalid Khan and Abdullah Khan finished second and third respectively.
SOA organises events in Sindh
The Sindh Olympic Association (SOA) held a multi-sport event in Karachi and Hyderabad.
Adnan Sharif won gold in the cycling road race from Mazar-e-Quaid to Shahrae Faisal, while Mian Dad and Wazir Ali finished second and third in the 18km race.
Meanwhile, Sindh Police won the men’s netball title, defeating Karachi 23-19 at the Mini Sports Complex. In throwball, Karachi Blue clinched the title as they outplayed Karachi Red 2-1. Volleyball saw Hyder Club outplaying Garden Club 4-1.
Malir District emerged as the winners in the tug-of-war competition, with District South coming second and District East taking the bronze medal.
In other competitions, Pakistan White defeated Pakistan Green 3-1 in the men’s football competition, and Pakistan Green outplayed Pakistan White 32-28 in the women’s basketball event.
On the other hand, Hyderabad hosted only a handball event, in which Razzak Sports defeated Young Star Club 39-26.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2014.
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